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Br J Cancer. 2010 Jul 27;103(3):324-31. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605770. Epub 2010 Jul 13.

Multi-centre phase II clinical trial of yttrium-90 resin microspheres alone in unresectable, chemotherapy refractory colorectal liver metastases.

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Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Via Elio Chianesi, 53, 00144 Rome, Italy.



This multi-centre phase II clinical trial is the first prospective evaluation of radioembolisation of patients with colorectal liver metastases (mCRC) who failed previous oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based systemic chemotherapy regimens.


Eligible patients had adequate hepatic, haemopoietic and renal function, and an absence of major hepatic vascular anomalies and hepato-pulmonary shunting. Gastroduodenal and right gastric arteries were embolised before hepatic arterial administration of yttrium-90 resin microspheres (median activity, 1.7 GBq; range, 0.9-2.2).


Of 50 eligible patients, 38 (76%) had received > or =4 lines of chemotherapy. Most presented with synchronous disease (72%), >4 hepatic metastases (58%), 25-50% replacement of total liver volume (60%) and bilateral spread (70%). Early and intermediate (>48 h) WHO G1-2 adverse events (mostly fever and pain) were observed in 16 and 22% of patients respectively. Two died due to renal failure at 40 days or liver failure at 60 days respectively. By intention-to-treat analysis using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours, 1 patient (2%) had a complete response, 11 (22%) partial response, 12 (24%) stable disease, 22 (44%) progressive disease; 4 (8%) were non-evaluable. Median overall survival was 12.6 months (95% CI, 7.0-18.3); 2-year survival was 19.6%.


Radioembolisation produced meaningful response and disease stabilisation in patients with advanced, unresectable and chemorefractory mCRC.

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